3 Takeaways From Team Canada’s 5-1 Victory Over Czechia

Team Canada was dominant once again as they picked up their third win of the 2022 World Juniors with a 5-1 win over Czechia. With the victory, Canada is guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals. In net, Dylan Garand was strong once again as he made 22 saves for his second victory of the tournament.

Canada Bounces Back After Early Deficit

Despite being gifted a five-minute power play less than five minutes in the game, Team Canada fell behind early thanks to a shorthanded goal by Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Martin Rysavy just under five minutes into the game. The goal came after the Moose Jaw Warriors forward was able to get behind the defence and beat Garand high blocker side. The puck went in and out of the net so fast that play continued with many thinking the puck hit the goalpost and stayed out.

Kent Johnson, Michigan Wolverines
Kent Johnson Michigan Wolverines (Jonathan Knight, Jonathan Knight Photography)

After the goal, Canada responded in a big way. They threw everything at the net, racking up 19 of their 23 shots in the period after the goal. After some highlight reel saves from Tri-City Americans goaltender Tomáš Suchánek, Canada was able to find the back of the net twice before the period wrapped up. First, Mason McTavish deflected Jack Thompson’s shot with his thigh to tie the game with just under four minutes to play in the first, followed by Kent Johnson making his alma mater, The University of Michigan, proud by executing a lacrosse-style goal most call “The Michigan.” Canada had regained momentum while at the same time producing what very well may be the goal of the tournament.

Shots Galore

The Canadians did not make Czechia goalie Suchánek’s life easy as they fired 57 total shots toward him, forcing him to make 52 saves. That means he faced a shot almost every minute of game action. This game should not have been as close as it was, but he was able to hold Team Czechia in it thanks to multiple highlight-reel glove saves that left Canadian players looking skywards. The Canadians recorded double-digit shots in every period, with their most productive coming in the first as they had the same amount of shots (23) as Czechia did the entire game.

Related: Tomas Suchanek – 2021 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

The shot generation was a real team effort as only two players on Team Canada failed to register a shot on goal. Johnson led the team with nine shots on goal, while forwards Connor Bedard, McTavish and Tyson Foerster, along with defenceman Olen Zellweger all recorded five or more. This game showed that once the Canadians get rolling on offence, it can turn into a busy night for the opposition’s goaltender.

Canada Continues To Shuffle Lines

Throughout the tournament and before this game, Team Canada continued to shuffle around their offensive lines. Brennan Othmann was promoted to the team’s top line with Bedard and McTavish, while Joshua Roy dropped down to the third line with Ridly Greig and William Dufour. This will be something to monitor as the tournament goes on.

Ohthmann continues to be one of Team Canada’s most impressive forwards and has worked his way up from 13th forward all the way to the top line. So far this tournament, he has a goal and three assists in three games and looks right at home besides Bedard and McTavish. The Flint Firebirds’ captain continues to show how valuable he is to this team and should play a key role as the tournament continues.

Next Up For Team Canada

The Canadians will wrap up their preliminary round schedule with a highly anticipated matchup versus Team Finland on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. This game is vital for both sides as it will help determine who walks away as the winner of Group A. The puck drops at 6 pm ET on NHL Network in the United States and TSN in Canada.

Team CanadaPlayers to WatchRoster
Team USAPlayers to WatchRoster
Team AustriaPlayers to WatchRoster
Team CzechiaPlayers to WatchRoster
Team FinlandPlayers to WatchRoster
Team GermanyPlayers to WatchRoster
Team LatviaRoster
Team SlovakiaRoster
Team SwedenPlayers to WatchRoster
Team SwitzerlandPlayers to WatchRoster

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